Apple hasn’t typically earned too much scratch selling its devices in bulk to Government agencies, but that may be changing soon as the iPad continues to make inroads into all types of employment and management positions.
Not wanting to be sitting firmly behind the technology curve, the US Department of Veterans Affairs is looking into security systems that would enable it to deploy as many as 100,000 iPads and iPhones to employees within 18 months.
VA officials are researching “mobile device management” services that will protect e-mail and control access to agency computer networks for people using smartphones and tablet computers, according to a VA request for information issued last week and updated today.
“We want to make sure that veteran information is protected while still enabling productivity enhancing applications,” Roger Baker, the agency’s chief information officer, said in an e-mailed statement.
Meanwhile, the report also notes that Apple is currently seeking a security certificate from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, “the agency that provides technology recommendations to the federal government.”
Almost comically, there is already a tablet computer that has been cleared by the aforementioned agency – the BlackBerry Playbook. A determination on the viability of Apple’s iPad in Governmental settings is currently pending according to Randy Easter, director of the cryptographic module validation program at NIST.
Highlighting the potential for Governmental deals, Bloomberg points out that the Government last year spent only $50.8 million on Apple products whereas it spent $1.9 billion on Dell products.